Ken Hammond received his PhD from Harvard University in History and East Asian Languages in 1994 and has taught at New Mexico State University ever since. He specializes in the history of China in the Early Modern period, especially the 16th century. He is past president of the Society for Ming Studies, and is Associate Editor for the Ming and Qing periods for the Journal of Chinese History. He has published numerous articles on Chinese intellectual and political history, and his book Pepper Mountain: The Life, Death and Posthumous Career of Yang Jisheng, 1516-1555 came out in 2007. In 1999 Dr. Hammond was a research fellow at the Institute of History at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, and in 2002–3 he was a visiting fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, the Netherlands. His current research is on urban transformation and its visual representation in early modern China.